EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Alex
Jamie New (Max Harwood) is turning sixteen years old. He lives in England with his mother Margaret (Sarah Lancashire), and is the only openly gay kid at his school and is frequently picked on because of it. His only friend at school is Pritti (Lauren Patel), who is also picked up for being Muslim. At school, his teacher Miss Hedge (Sharon Horgan) admonishes the class about not wanting to grow up to be YouTubers but instead having realistic career goals. Jamie pretends to agree with her, but secretly he dreams of being a drag queen. Jamie sings “Don’t Even Know It” about how he’s a superstar and no one has any idea. When he snaps out of his musical fantasy, he does admit to Miss Hedge that he wants to be a performer, but she tells the kids she’d be lying if she said they were going to achieve their dreams and she wants to prepare them for the real world.
Margaret goes to see her best friend Ray (Shobna Gulati) to help her prep everything for Jamie’s birthday party. Pritti is unable to go, and at the last minute, Jamie’s father Wayne (Ralph Ineson) messages Margaret to say he’s not going to show up. Jamie arrives home and Margaret lies that Wayne couldn’t come because of a work emergency, and she gives him a card she threw together that she lies and says his dad gave him. For his present, Margaret gives Jamie a pair of expensive sparkly red high heels that he’s been wanting and saving up money for – his first pair of heels. Jamie is disappointed his father isn’t there and sings “Wall in My Head”, a song about how he’s had to build up a wall after his father’s judgmental and cruel comments over the years. Flashbacks are shown of Wayne and Jamie’s struggling relationship.
At school, Jamie shows Pritti the shoes and confesses his desire to be a drag superstar. Pritti wants to know if he wants to be a woman, but Jamie explains he just likes dressing up and wants to be a drag queen. He nervously asks her what she thinks, and Pritti is unsure of how she feels about it. Dean Paxton (Samuel Bottomley), the meanest kid in their grade, comes over and hurls slurs and insults and both Jamie and Pritti for their differences – until Jamie tears him a new one, including saying that a girl at school says he has a micropenis. Dean leaves them alone, and afterward, Pritti tells him that he should wear the shoes to prom and be the drag queen he wants to be. She sings “Spotlight”, telling him to come out of the darkness and into the spotlight.
Margaret goes to see Wayne at his new girlfriend Cheryl’s place – Cheryl seems annoyed to have to see Margaret. Margaret admonishes Wayne for not showing up for Jamie at all on his sixteenth birthday and for not even reaching out to Jamie. Wayne tells her to stop lying to Jamie then and says he’s only a bad dad because that’s the part she casts him in. He says boys should want to do boy things and it’s not fair that they tried for so long to have a baby and she’s the only one who got the child she wanted. He tells Margaret that Cheryl is pregnant and he’s having another boy, that Jamie doesn’t need him anymore. He tells Margaret to tell Jamie the truth and to move on with her life.
Jamie finds a drag shop, House of Loco, where he intends to find his first dress. Pritti walks him to the door but tells him he needs to go in on his own, where he finds the shopkeeper Hugo (Richard E. Grant) who is shocked how young Jamie is. He counsels Jamie on finding his drag persona, explaining that putting on drag gives you power, pointing to a photo of drag queen Loco Chanelle on the wall. He asks why Jamie wants to be a drag queen, and Jamie explains how it’s all he wants to do and has to make it happen. Hugo is thrilled until Jamie reveals his plan to go to prom in drag in six weeks. Hugo reveals he was Loco Chanelle, or used to be. He sings “This Was Me” as flashbacks play to young Loco and his many drag escapades, lots of fun and lots of activism until the AIDS epidemic ravaged the community, killing many of his close friends and even killing Freddie Mercury. Saddened, Jamie backs out.
Jamie is shocked and tells Pritti that being a drag queen is so much more than just dressing up. Pritti tells Jamie he needs to carry on the legacy, and Jamie and Pritti return to the shop and tell Hugo that Jamie is in. Hugo is excited, has a great dress for Jamie (once Jamie can afford it), and books Jamie on a drag show. Meanwhile, Margaret tells Ray about what happened with Wayne, and Ray urges Margaret to tell Jamie the truth. When they get home, Jamie excitedly tells them about his drag show and his plan to go to prom in drag. Margaret is shocked but supports Jamie and tells him how proud she is. He asks Margaret about inviting Wayne to the show, and Margaret tells Jamie she’ll ask him, knowing full well that Wayne would never support it. Ray pushes Margaret, who says she couldn’t break Jamie’s heart.
Jamie begins picking up work shifts at Ray’s bakery and at a convenience store to pay for the dress. At school, Miss Hedge pushes Dean to not skip his exams, insisting his life will be harder if he doesn’t. Meanwhile, Jamie beckons Pritti into the bathroom where he reveals he has accidentally given himself insane eyebrow makeup in an attempt to practice her drag. Pritti tries to fix it but Miss Hedge catches them and sees Jamie’s makeup-covered face. Pritti claims it’s for an art project, and Miss Hedge says she doesn’t want Jamie ruining Pritti’s future. When Jamie responds that at least he has a future, Miss Hedge orders him to return to class with his makeup still on and sings “Work of Art”, mocking that he is a work of art. When Jamie returns to class, they laugh at his face, and Jamie responds by telling them about his drag show, determined not to be shamed. Jamie begins singing “Work of Art” himself.
After school, Dean calls Jamie a freak, intending to go to the show and embarrass him. Jamie goes to the drag club and begins to panic and back out, but Hugo surprises him as Loco Chanelle and stops Jamie from leaving. Jamie still doesn’t have a drag name, is scared of Dean, and feels he can’t do the show – Loco and the other drag performers sing “Over the Top” as they make Jamie over into a drag queen. Margaret and Ray, along with Dean and his pals, arrive at the show. Margaret sends Jamie flowers that she signs as being from Wayne, which Jamie is thrilled to receive. Just before he goes on, Loco demands Jamie tell him his drag name, and Jamie says “it’s about me”, and so Loco introduces Jamie as “Mimi Me”. Just as Mimi goes out onstage, Pritti arrives. Mimi performs a lip sync number – Dean and the boys heckle him during but are escorted out, and Mimi finishes the number in style.
The next day at school, the kids are all singing “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie”, gossiping about the drag show. Jamie arrives to class late in dramatic fashion and with make-up, which Miss Hedge orders him to remove, and Jamie refuses. Miss Hedge sends Jamie to the principal’s, and Dean comes to harass him while he waits. When Dean physically grabs Jamie, Jamie kisses him, horrifying him. Miss Hedge comes out to separate the fight, and Dean vows he’ll never go to prom if Jamie is showing up in a dress, leaving school despite Miss Hedge insisting he has to take his exam. At a meeting with the principal, Miss Hedge says Jamie can’t wear a dress to prom because it’s a distraction to the other kids. She says Jamie is a student at the school, not Mimi. Jamie leaves, furious.
At Pritti’s house, Jamie is still deeply upset, but Pritti wants to know why Mimi needs to go to the prom. Jamie says without Mimi he’s ugly, and Pritti says he’s stunning. She tells him that in Arabic his name means beautiful, and sings “It Means Beautiful”, encouraging Jamie while flashbacks play of a young Jamie trying on makeup – Wayne catches him and is furious. He confesses to Pritti how his father was so ashamed of him and how scared he is, and Pritti tells him he can’t let be scared stop him. Jamie goes to see Wayne and says he knows he sent the flowers, but Wayne tells Jamie he’s done with him and that he wanted a son so badly but all he got was Jamie.
Jamie goes home and is furious at his Margaret for lying to him. Margaret is sewing Jamie’s dress and Jamie tries to take it from her – it rips. He tells Margaret she ruins everything and to stop trying to live through his life because she doesn’t have one. He storms off and Margaret, alone, sings “He’s My Boy”, about how despite it all she loves Jamie and he’s her everything. Jamie goes to a local sports game that Wayne is in the audience of and goes onto the field in partial drag, and is harassed and physically shoved off the field. Wayne does nothing to help Jamie. Beaten and bloody, Jamie goes to Hugo’s shop and Hugo cleans him up. Jamie tells Hugo he’s nothing without Mimi, and Hugo tells him he’s so young and has so much ahead of him.
Jamie goes home and apologizes to Margaret for what he said to her, and she apologizes in return for lying. He asks Margaret if she wishes he was normal, and Margaret insists he is normal and has done nothing wrong. She says she’s sorry for Wayne because he’s the one who is missing out. Together Jamie and Margaret sing “My Man, My Boy”, about how they regret their mistakes and how much they love each other. On prom night, all the students of Jamie’s school get ready. Pritti arrives in makeup and Dean begins calling her racist names and calling her “it”, and Pritti stands up to him and points out that tomorrow she’ll begin the rest of her life, and tomorrow he’ll be nothing – he won’t be a big fish in a small pond anymore. The other kids laugh at Dean, who says Pritti can’t even get a date for prom – she says she can, and Jamie walks in a beautiful dress (but not in drag, as himself in a dress).
Miss Hedge says she told Jamie not to come in drag, and he says he didn’t come as Mimi, he came as himself in a dress. Miss Hedge says he won’t ruin it for the other students, but the other students say they have no problem with it. Jamie accepts her decision and begins to leave until Pritti asks him “what the fuck he’s doing”, shocking the group. The students say if Miss Hedge doesn’t let Jamie in, they won’t go in, and Pritti leads a chant of “Jamie”. Jamie tells Miss Hedge he’s come as himself, as he real Jamie, and Miss Hedge relents and tells Jamie he can go in. He compliments her on her shoes and she returns the favor.
Everyone goes inside but Jamie stops when he sees Dean standing outside by himself alone. Dean says Pritti is right about him, and Jamie implores Dean to come in and do a nice thing before it’s all over. He asks Dean to dance with him, and Dean says he isn’t gay. Jamie says he knows but he’s not a girl anyway, no one’s perfect, and leads Dean by the hand back into the dance. Dean apologizes to Pritti, who accepts it. At home, Margaret and Ray scream in excitement when they get Jamie’s message that he made it into the prom. Jamie and the students sing “A Place Where We Belong”, celebrating their coming together and celebrating each other. Jamie and Pritti take a limo through the street as confetti rains and the dance number continues with the whole cast.
At home, Jamie takes out the garbage in his heels and waves at the garbage men. He blows a kiss to the camera. Footage of the real Jamie and his mother plays over the credits.
Jamie New (Max Harwood) is a sixteen-year-old who dreams of being a fabulous drag queen. His mother Margaret (Sarah Lancashire) supports him fully but sends Jamie fake notes from his father who in reality does not want to spend any time with Jamie because he is ashamed of him for being gay. Jamie eventually learns from former drag queen Hugo (Richard E. Grant) how to be a queen and decides to wear a dress to prom, but teacher Miss Hedge (Sharon Horgan) forbids it. Jamie eventually learns the truth about his father and after a big fight he and Margaret both declare their love for each other. Jamie comes as himself in a dress and eventually the other kids learn to accept him as he is and he is allowed to attend the prom.